Venice

… was on the way to Slovenia for kayaking. It was on the way back too, though the weather had gone downhill on the second Saturday. It’s good for reflections – not necessarily kept right way up 😉

It’s difficult to take photos that look any different to ones I’ve seen many times before – avoiding St. Mark’s Square with its immense crowds helps a bit.

Again trying to keep away from the bustling main through routes (especially on a day crowded with eye-poking umbrellas) I was taken with this market-stall-on-a-boat.

Totally eclipsed by clouds

Well, not quite – in fact thin cloud made it possible to look at the sun and moon, at least briefly. Photography was a little less successful as all my really long lenses are from old Contax cameras, with Canon adapters which don’t provide autofocus. The two shots here were taken with a really good quality zoom – Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm, and a rather lower quality 500mm mirror lens from Centon, combined with a Canon x1.4 teleconverter. Manual focus whilst staring at something really quite bright is not ideal, and the tripod was perhaps not as rock steady as these sort of lenses need…


210mm f/32 1/200

The best of the photos with the Vivitar was taken with the smallest aperture, f/32


700mm f/8 1/1600

Like any mirror lens, this one has a fixed aperture, in this case f/8. The “real” aperture would be f/11, since the teleconverter knocks it down a stop (the diameter stays the same, but the focal length goes up).

Alpine light

Our annual ski trip for 2015 was at New Year, and we returned to Mayrhofen. There were days of heavy snowfall, which was great, and one of arctic wind, which wasn’t. Poor weather often means good snow, but combined with piste skiing is often poor for photography, so not much inspiring produced from the days out. However, one day was notable for a power outage over a big chunk of the mountain. Links being what they are, this produced a very large number of skiers at the end of the day at the bottom of slopes which would normally be uncrowded. The resort responded with a lot of extra buses, but with the crowds overflowing onto the roads, getting these turned round was an issue, and being at the very top of the valley, narrow roads were also slowing things down. This would no doubt all have been fine with a bit of marshalling and crowd cooperation, but people were clearly tired, irritable and bored. The number of people behaving in a completely counterproductive and frankly inconsiderate manner eventually got to me, and I just set off to walk, carrying skis, in ski boots, seven miles down the road. Since I use ski touring boots which are designed for a certain amount of walking and climbing, this was not quite as epic as it might sound, though it did take a bit longer than I’d hoped, and the traffic was a bit of a problem with no provision made for pedestrians on most of the road. The light faded, and one good result of all this was a bit of sunset photography. Here’s my favourite:


Winter in Boldron

Taking the dog out first thing in the morning led to quite a few photos at or about sunrise in the winter and this longer-than-usual December walk gave me quite a few nice ones, of which this is probably the best:


Winter sunrise in the village